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re: "I've always wondered what happened to everything that didn't make it into Sondheim on Sondheim"
Last Edit: Chromolume 02:10 pm EST 11/27/22
Posted by: Chromolume 01:53 pm EST 11/27/22
In reply to: re: "I've always wondered what happened to everything that didn't make it into Sondheim on Sondheim" - Chromolume 12:37 pm EST 11/27/22

About Sondheim On Sondheim, as we're here - I've done the show with an extremely talented cast in Boston. (Our 4 main actors were already known for their exemplary work in Sondheim shows in the area - we tried, when possible, to assign them the songs they had done in the actual shows.) There are a few things, but only a very few, that elevate this show from anything more than being yet another complication of Sondheim songs shoehorned into a revue. They are:

The videos of Sondheim discussing his work, et al.
The fantastic new arrangement of "Something's Coming" (hands down the best arrangement in the show, written by the always excellent David Loud).
The duet medley of "Losing My Mind" and "Not A Day Goes By."
Michael Starobin's exciting new orchestrations (for an 8-piece band), even if sometimes over-busy ones. Oddly, no percussion part in the band. I think it could have used at least some.

That's it.

Some big miscalculations - the "Overture" (thankfully not recorded on the OBC) which is a haphazard mashup of bits of songs that doesn't really pay off. The inclusion of "The Wedding Is Off" as opposed to "Getting Married Today" (which would have been a much better crowd pleaser). The awful new duet version of "You Could Drive A Person Crazy" which falls embarrassingly flat. A sole very short passage of an early song ("Meet Me At The Donut") seemingly only included so that Sondheim can cut it off self-deprecatingly through video. And the one truly new song, "God," which is not very good (sorry, Steve) and was definitely not an effective Act II opener. Also, the self-deprecating way Do I Hear A Waltz was treated by Sondheim as the title song was being sung, leaving the singer in a rather awkward position that could have been intended as funny, but didn't really seem to be.

Otherwise, yes, a nice chance to revisit a number of great songs - but definitely with the feeling that there were too many of them for the revue to accommodate comfortably, and not really put together in a very effective way.

IMO, YMMV. But when I did it, I kinda wish we had just done another Sondheim book show instead.
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